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The Sense of the Mildness, of the Perseverance and of the Simplicity at the Beginning of the Christianity
Title | The Sense of the Mildness, of the Perseverance and the Simplicity at the Beginning of the Christianity
Author | Cinzia Randazzo
ISBN | 9788892698529
© All rights reserved by the Author
No part of this book may be reproduced without the prior permission of the Author.
Via Roma, 73 – 73039 Tricase (LE) – Italy
In this brief study Dr Randazzo carefully analysed three concepts (gentleness, perseverance, and simplicity) present in the works of the Apostolic Fathers, which are important primarily from an ethical point of view. In her opinion the role of these virtues in the everyday life of early Christian communities – which were held in high esteem by the earliest Christian writers – have not been analysed yet profoundly enough by modern scholarship. As she usually does, Dr Randazzo carefully examines several passages from the works of Clement of Rome, Ps.-Clement, Ignace of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, and Hermas, but her research extends also to the Didache, the so-called Letter to Diognetus, and the Letter of Barnabas. These three moral qualities are very much in the heart of Christ’s message, present in a prominent way in the Sermon on the Mount, but their importance was not obvious either for those converted to Christianity from Judaism, or for the Christians of pagan origin. However, these virtues were crucial in the life of the church in the second century, because without them the small Christian communities probably would not have survived in a hostile environment.
The paper is divided into three main parts, in which the author examines the concept of gentleness, perseverance, and simplicity in this sequence. Each part is divided into two short chapters, presenting the conditions of exercising these virtues and the fruits of them. The Apostolic Fathers emphasize that the disciples of Christ should not react violently to any kinds of the attacks. They also underline the importance of persevering in the faith even in difficult times. Simplicity means for them that Christians should not heap up material property: their hearts must not cling to temporary beings.
In the concluding part of the study Dr Randazzo sets up three groups of the second century writers according to their way of presenting these virtues. Polycarp and the author of the Letter to Diognetus